Skip to main content

Reply to "Avatar"

Um,
We are going to have to continue to disagree on this issue. For one, the movie was an argument against technology and for nature. It was technology that ruined earth. It was technology that was defeated by nature and culture with respect to the Na'vi sending the technologically more advanced humans packing. It was disrespect for culture and nature that created the conflict in the first place.

Physics and science do not exist in a vacuum. This is the theme of Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt's  Die Physiker. This is the point of one of the most influential philosophical essays of the 20th century, Heidegger's "The Question Concerning Technology."

How a society uses technology, how a society understands what is of value, whether they should be concerned about global warming, designed obsolescence, are not scientific questions. They are moral, ethical, and cultural questions. Science and technology are tools. But what governs how the tools are used, who uses them, who has access to them, these are cultural questions.

It is social and cultural matters why people make the choices that they do. Human beings are much more complex than any piece of technology. The reason that there was a financial crisis is not because people do not possess accounting skills. It is because of a culture that has been created that is materialistic, that relishes conspicuous consumption, etc. You might say that this is dumb, but it is also very human. Human beings are not logic engines, and any significant social transformation is going to require much more than empirical data.
×
×
×
×